About Me

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Denman Island, British Columbia, Canada
Jean Cockburn retired from her professional career as an academic librarian in 2008 to become a textile artist living on Denman Island, British Columbia. She draws, quilts, embroiders, knits and crochets, makes wearable art, weaves baskets, dyes fabric, and paints watercolours. Her work has been exhibited locally in juried and group shows on Denman Island, in Courtenay, Comox, and Duncan on Vancouver Island, in West Vancouver, and across Canada with the Surface Design Association.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

More art journal work

This altered book retains about 10% of the original pages, covered with white acrylic paint. The cover decoration was intuitive, and turned out well. As a result of the cover, the theme of this art journal will be FLOWERS.

The inside cover and first page were gessoed with pastel grounds. The hellebore images were created with white chalkboard chalk and coloured soft pastels fixed with hairspray. Then details were added with a white china pencil and ultrafine sharpie.

I'm still working on this cover decoration as it continues to displease me. However, I have decided that the theme of this art journal will be CIRCLES.


Blue circles made with blue acrylic ink - dropped in wet circles, then drawn with a drip pen, then splattered.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Altered books and art journals

This is Reading Week at the college. I have two independent assignment paintings on display as part of the annual Art Event.

I have been using the time without homework to explore other art techniques. I have made several altered book art journals, and am working in watercolour, coloured pencil, collage and acrylic. It is great to be able to explore on a small scale. Very addictive.

I removed the pages from this hardcover book, then made signatures of all kinds of different papers: watercolour paper, sketching, pastel, and old maps. The cover of the book is painted with acrylics and stamped with a stencil, then covered with gel medium. I have decided that the theme of this art journal will be the colour RED.

The inside cover is covered with fabric glued down with matte medium. The first page is an ink and watercolour sketch, with some tiny stamped gold butterflies.

The next page is collage with acrylic paint and medium, and some stamping.

Collage, red acrylic paint/medium background, spray ink (just got this spray ink at the scrapbooking store yesterday - fun).

Next page spread prepped with acrylic paint/medium and ready for inspiration.

A smaller art journal. Cover is painted, collaged, and stamped. I like the bird images, and have decided that the them of this art journal will be birds.

For this book, I left in the original pages. I removed 80% of the pages, then glued two pages together throughout. This inside cover and first page were treated with watercolour grounds, a type of gesso. I did a watercolour and ink sketch, with Copic Opaque White (thanks to the scrapbooking store visit yesterday) for the highlights on the gull.

The next pages were covered with paperback book pages glued down with matte medium. Sketches are fantasy birds coloured with Prismacolor pencils and a few highlights of the Copic Opaque White.

The next page spread I left the original brown kraft paper. My look sketch is ink and Prismacolor pencils.

The next pages are ready for another bird.

This book had terrible paper. I left it in, removing 80% of the pages, then gluing pages together, but I don't know how good it will be to work on. The cover is not that pleasing to me. I kept painting and collaging.

A pencil sketch on the inside front cover and first page. The pages have been treated with watercolour ground. 

The start of another altered book art journal. 80% of pages removed, but this has heavy glossy paper so no gluing together of pages. Cover has one coat of acrylic paint.

Glossy pages from a coffee table book and attached on the spine with washi tape to make a cover.

A large sheet of drawing paper is folded and cut to make one large signature, stitched into a drawing folio. No work has been done in this one yet.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Mid term art class critique

My Independent mid term painting is called Six Self Portraits. Each canvas is 12 inches square.
The college has been closed most of the week, including today, because of record wet snowfalls that making travel difficult and dangerous.

However, we were lucky yesterday as the Comox Valley campus was open until 4 pm, and we just had time to do our mid term Independent painting critiques. Two students were missing because of the snow, and everyone was rather subdued, with one eye on the window watching the wet snow come down and accumulate, so discussion was not as lively as usual. Still, it was great to see what the students had accomplished.

Two beautiful paintings, each about 36 by 24"  

My Six Self Portraits on the left and a trompe l'oeil painting by a fellow student.

Two more paintings.

A wonderful self portrait by a Japanese exchange student.

An interesting assemblage of paint and photos by a Chinese exchange student who likes to explore kitsch in his art.